For the past few decades, the Mustang has seen a mid-cycle refresh for each body style. The Fox Body had its major facelift in 1987, along with the SN95 in 1999, S197 in 2010 and now 2018 for the S550. As with any facelift, it has many enthusiasts curious of the changes between old and new, and if it’s worth the jump to the latest body style.
The 2018 is no different. And with some serious technology updates and exterior changes, the 2018 Mustang is a major step-up in multiple areas over the outgoing 2017 model. From the front fascia, which now features available full-LED lighting to numerous new wheel options and a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission, Ford is making it extremely hard for prospective buyers to settle for the 2017 Mustang in their search for the perfect Mustang. There are even power bumps for both the GT and EcoBoost.
Don’t get us wrong! The 2015-2017 Mustang is an amazing car all-around. Here at CJ’s, we have plenty of fans of the new S550 platform. From the new independent rear suspension to the more luxurious interior and updated Performance Package, the 2015 Mustang was a huge step up for Ford over the S197's 2014 Mustang. However, it’s clear that Ford really spent some time fine-tuning the 2017 Mustang in various areas to make it an even better car for us enthusiasts; and that’s where the new 2018 Mustang comes in.
2017 Mustang vs 2018 Mustang Exterior
2015-2017 vs 2018 Mustang Front Fascia
Quite possibly the largest difference between the 2018 Mustang and 2017 Mustang is the styling changes to the front fascia. The 2018 Mustang features an entirely new hood, front fenders, front bumper cover, upper and lower grille, and headlights. As with almost any refresh or body style change, many Mustang lovers weren’t fond of the changes, but as the ‘18 began to hit the streets and car shows across the country, many have fallen for the pony car’s new face.
You’ll also see a few new colors that have been added to the rainbow of colors offered for the Ford Mustang. New Mustang Colors for 2018 include: Kona Blue, Orange Fury Metallic Tri-Coat and Royal Crimson Metallic Tinted Clear Coat. Ford will, unfortunately, be dropping Grabber Blue and White Platinum off the list.
On top of that, you’ll see many differences in the rear fascia as well. Most notably, the addition of a larger spoiler on Performance Package-equipped models. The taillights have also seen an update to match the new boomerang-style look of the daytime running lights up front in the headlights. The decklid panel looks almost identical to 2015-2017 models with the exception of the styling line running across the center from either side. On EcoBoost Pony Package models, you’ll see the Tri-Bar Running Pony logo as well. Moving down, you’ll see the addition of a more aggressive rear valance with quad-tip exhaust standard across all GT models. EcoBoost will receive the same aggressive valance treatment, but with dual tips.
Additionally, Ford has added a slew of wheels to the Mustang lineup to add even more customization options to your 2018 Mustang. With about eight brand new wheel designs, owners will truly be able to find a wheel option that suits their style and general build direction. On top of that, there is even the addition of a 19” x 9” Luster Nickel-Painted Forged Aluminum wheel available on both the EcoBoost and GT Performance Package-equipped cars.
2015-2017 vs 2018 Mustang Rear Fascia
2017 Mustang vs 2018 Mustang Interior
2015-2017 vs 2018 Mustang Instrument Cluster
Perhaps the most notable difference when it comes to the 2018 Mustang’s interior is the optional 12-inch full LCD instrument cluster display. This opens up many doors to help improve user experiences such as cool burnout visualizations for the Line Lock feature which is now standard on both the EcoBoost and GT! This upgraded 12” instrument cluster display will also allow for different gauge layouts. For example, you could have a gauge layout dedicated to those long road trips focused on engine efficiency, and another one displaying engine temperature, oil temperature, and coolant temperature for track days!
There are also a few more features that have been added to the 2018 Mustang when it comes to interior. First off, you can now get a heated steering wheel as part of the new Premium Plus Package included in the 201A (EcoBoost) and 401A (GT) Equipment Groups. There are also a couple new interior colors added to the mix including Midnight Blue, Showstopper Red, and Tan, replacing the outgoing Dark Saddle, Ebony and Red Line with special stitching. You’ll also be able to pick up the all-new Carbon Sport Interior Package which includes Alcantara® Door and Seat Inserts along with a carbon-fiber instrument panel and shift knob!
Also new for the Mustang in 2018 is SYNC Connect which will allow you to remotely start (automatic transmission only) and lock and unlock the vehicle. You’ll also be able to locate your parked vehicle via GPS, check vehicle status, and enable a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to ten devices (with a subscription). Unfortunately, those with the base SYNC setup won't be able to take advantage of these cool features. SYNC Connect is only available if your Mustang is equipped with the optional SYNC 3 system.
2017 Mustang vs 2018 Mustang Performance
"faster than a Porsche 911 Carrera"
Aside from the aesthetic changes to the exterior, there is a lot to talk about when it comes to the performance of both the 2018 Mustang EcoBoost and GT! What everyone wants to hear about are the horsepower numbers, right?
While the GT will see the biggest power bumps from the outgoing 435 horsepower to a new 460 horsepower, along with torque jumping to 420 lb.-ft. A GT with the Performance Package and 10-Speed Automatic Transmission in Drag Strip Mode will do the 0-60 MPH sprint in under 4 seconds -- faster than a Porsche 911 Carrera!
There are various factors that went into increasing these power numbers over the outgoing 2017 model. For starters, the GT’s 5.0L Coyote engine sees the addition of direct injection to be used in conjunction with the existing port-fuel injection. This addition, along with many other small changes and upgrades, allowed for more power, a higher compression (12:0:1), slightly larger displacement (5.035 liters), a higher rev limiter at 7,500 RPM and more!
Thanks to an in-depth article by our friends over at FordNXT.com, we got a closer look at some of the Gen 3 Coyote’s upgrades. The 2018’s new heart features a plethora of new upgrades including a 93mm cylinder bore, larger valves, upgraded cylinder heads, a revised rev-friendly intake manifold, upgraded bearings, upgraded crank damper, lighter oil pan and much more!
"0-60 MPH in under 5 seconds"
For 2018, the EcoBoost sees a boost of 30 lb.-ft. in torque to a beefy 350 lb.-ft., while horsepower remains constant at a still respectable 310 horsepower. What’s even more impressive is that a 2018 EcoBoost Mustang equipped with the same Performance Package and 10-Speed Automatic Transmission treatment will hit 0-60 MPH in under 5 seconds!
Additionally, EcoBoost and GT owners will both have the opportunity to get their hands on the MagneRide Damping System derived from the fan-favorite Shelby GT350 and GT350R. Combine that with Line Lock which is standard across both EcoBoost and GT models, and you’ve got yourself one mean track-eating machine!
2017 Mustang vs 2018 Mustang Price
One side of the 2018 Mustang that has some life-long fans second thinking their purchase is the increase in price for Ford’s newest breed of pony. With the execution of the Mustang V6, the EcoBoost took the place of the base model Mustang. With that said, many of the lower-end EcoBoost models aren’t far off in price from what they were in 2017, in some cases even lower to cover the gap of the V6 leaving the Mustang.
However, on the GT, there are some sizeable price hikes in both the base and premium trim levels. In 2017, a base-model GT Fastback went for $33,195 and in 2018, that price has increased 5.7% to $35,095. The GT Premium Fastback and Convertible both saw increases as well of about $2,000 across the board.
Perhaps the biggest difference in price is the EcoBoost and GT Performance Package options. In reality, the 2018 Performance Package-equipped cars don’t get much more over its 2017 predecessor - just a new decklid spoiler and tires! Yet, the GT Performance Package rose in price by $1,000 from $2,995 in 2017 to $3,995 in 2018. The EcoBoost Performance Package saw a similar increase from $1,995 in 2017 to $2,495 in 2018.
Overall, you’re getting a lot more technology for your money with the 2018 Mustangs. With the addition of a 12” LCD Instrument Cluster, brand-new 10-Speed Automatic Transmission, more powerful engine options, better tires for Performance Package-equipped vehicles and much more, the 2018 Mustang is still an incredibly impressive vehicle for its price point!
2017 Mustang vs 2018 Mustang Base MSRP
||2017 Base MSRP
||2018 Base MSRP
|Mustang V6 Fastback
|Mustang EcoBoost Fastback
|Mustang EcoBoost Fastback Premium
|Mustang V6 Convertible
|Mustang EcoBoost Convertible
|Mustang GT Fastback
|Mustang EcoBoost Convertible Premium
|Mustang GT Fastback Premium
|Mustang GT Convertible Premium
|Shelby GT350 Fastback
|Shelby GT350R Fastback
2017 vs 2018 Mustang Package Prices (Selected)
|Black Accent Package
|GT Performance Package
|EcoBoost Performance Package
|Wheel and Stripe Package
|Carpon Sport Interior Package
|Active Valve Performance Exhaust
2018 Mustang Parts
There’s no doubt that with the new 2018 Mustang out, that there will be new Mustang owners out there looking to modify, tweak, turn up and wrench on their pony. Don’t fret! CJ’s will be front and center for all of your needs when it comes to 2018 Mustang parts! Whether you’re looking to add a new spoiler, set of wheels, supercharger, short-throw shifter or just a hood scoop, CJ’s has the parts you need to customize your 2018 Mustang to perfection.
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Image Credit: MotorTrend